Eyed Elater

In its earlier life stages, this click beetle is a voracious eater of garden pests.

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Mystery Critter The large spots on the top of this critter's head are false eyes. Its real eyes are small and located near the base of the antennae.

A member of the click beetle family, the eyed elater is a striking spectacle, especially when it rights itself. If turned upside down, it springs several inches in the air with a resonant "click" and lands on its feet.

In its adult stage, the eyed elater is thought to feed on nectar — if it eats at all. But as a larva, when it's known as a wireworm, it's an insect-eating machine. At two inches long, with powerful jaws on its business end and a couple of hooks on its back end, the yellowish segmented worm is a threat to all problematic insect larvae. Even better, the wireworm stays in this form for up to four years, eating garden pests, until it morphs into the eyed elater.

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